Sheffield United players look despondent after Wolves score
Defeat was Sheffield United’s 26th in the Premier League this season

Sheffield United were relegated to the Championship after Willian Jose’s first goal for Wolves secured victory.

The visitors knew, following Newcastle’s win over West Ham earlier on Saturday, that they had to avoid defeat at Molineux to delay their inevitable demotion for a few days.

But it was Wolves who edged a poor game of few chances, when they broke downfield after Enda Stevens’ shot had been blocked. Adama Traore created room close to the goalline and delivered a low cross into the six-yard box, which Jose swept home.

It broke the Brazilian’s Wolves duck in his 11th game for the club after signing on loan from Real Sociedad in January.

The Blades tried to respond and Stevens brought an excellent save from Rui Patricio with a powerful shot from an angle.

However, there was no preventing a relegation that has seemed certain since an abysmal start to the season brought just one point from their opening 13 games.

And at the final whistle, a number of Blades players dropped to their haunches.

Sad but inevitable end for Blades

Rhian Brewster and Aaron Ramsdale
Sheffield United are the first team to finish as high as ninth in the Premier League and be relegated the following season since Birmingham City (ninth in 2009-10, relegated in 2010-11).

If it was a night to celebrate for Jose, there was only more frustration for Rhian Brewster.

The 21-year-old arrived amid much expectation from Liverpool at the start of the season but the £23.5m striker is yet to score for the Blades.

He never looked like doing so in this game, although in fairness to Brewster, the service he received was inadequate.

It can only be hoped his and Sheffield United’s confidence can be restored by dropping down a level. Norwich’s promotion back to the top flight on Saturday – a year after they were relegated – underlines the potential for clubs going down to return at the first opportunity.

Evidently, there are issues that need to be addressed at Bramall Lane.

Interim manager Paul Heckingbottom has presided over four successive Premier League defeats since replacing Chris Wilder last month. His team have only scored once in that time.

Indeed, Sheffield United are still three short of matching Derby’s total of 20 goals from their 2007-08 campaign, which is the fewest in Premier League history. They are also still one short of matching the all-time lowest goal tally in an English league season – with Loughborough scoring just 18 times in the second tier in 1899-1900.

On Friday, chairman Prince Musaad Bin Khalid Al Saud announced he was standing down, leaving another key role needing to be filled. The resolve of owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to drive the rebuild will be tested over the coming months.

If there is any consolation from a chronic campaign for Sheffield United fans, it can be found in the difficulties of their great rivals from across the city.

Sheffield Wednesday are also mired in relegation trouble and the Steel City is bracing itself for both senior clubs going down in the same season for the first time.

More to follow.

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Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number11Player nameRui Patrício

  2. Squad number27Player nameSaïss

  3. Squad number16Player nameCoady

  4. Squad number15Player nameBoly

  5. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  6. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

  7. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

  8. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  9. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

  10. Squad number10Player nameDaniel Podence

  11. Squad number12Player nameWillian José

  1. Squad number17Player nameFábio Silva

  2. Squad number20Player nameVitinha

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale

  2. Squad number22Player nameAmpadu

  3. Squad number12Player nameEgan

  4. Squad number29Player nameBryan

  5. Squad number2Player nameBaldock

  6. Squad number23Player nameOsborn

  7. Squad number16Player nameNorwood

  8. Squad number4Player nameFleck

  9. Squad number3Player nameStevens

  10. Squad number24Player nameBrewster

  11. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick

  1. Squad number11Player nameMousset

  2. Squad number14Player nameBurke

  3. Squad number20Player nameBogle

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 27Saïss
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 37Traoré
  • 10PodenceBooked at 71minsSubstituted forVitinhaat 72′minutes
  • 12Da SilvaSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Hoever
  • 17Fábio Silva
  • 18Gibbs-White
  • 20Vitinha
  • 21Ruddy
  • 42Richards
  • 49Kilman
  • 54Otasowie
  • 60Corbeanu

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 22AmpaduSubstituted forBogleat 83′minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 29Bryan
  • 2Baldock
  • 23OsbornSubstituted forMoussetat 75′minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3StevensBooked at 82mins
  • 24BrewsterBooked at 36minsSubstituted forBurkeat 75′minutes
  • 17McGoldrick

Substitutes

  • 7Lundstram
  • 11Mousset
  • 13Lowe
  • 14Burke
  • 15Jagielka
  • 18Foderingham
  • 20Bogle
  • 31Brunt
  • 33Gordon

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